Necessary Madness: A Writer on the Road

Zones

I drove! I rented a car in Vilamoura down in the Algarve last week and drove for the first time here! Not having been behind any wheel in well over a year, and having watched Portuguese drivers zip about, I was tentative. But, I thought, if I can drive in New York, I...

Love Us If You Can

Saudade: This Portuguese word specifically expresses the longing that accompanies missing something that has been lost or is out of touch. Saudade is an accurate expression of what I’ve been feeling for the woods I grew up in, wandered in, played in, walked dogs in,...

100 Rejections

After invigorating months of house guests and travel, I turned the page to 2019 with nothing of note written on it. Writer friends were filling their blogs and social media posts with plans, such as finishing a novel or finding an agent. Also, this: accumulating...

Seven Lives and Counting Down

One morning not long ago, I glanced toward my kitchen window to see my cat, Hezekiah, standing on the wrong side. Could it be? Maybe I was mistaken. I wasn’t. There he was. On the other side of the glass, balancing on the blanket I’d flung across the clotheslines...

The Hair Cut Lady

I’ve never had much patience with hair and haircuts. Just cut it, I’ll say. Straight across. I’d leave salons with my hair wet, because, after all, I was only heading home or to the barn or out to walk the dogs. My Connecticut hair person knew not to take it...

Our Never Ending Story

  In the early seventies, I was a victim of sexual harassment not unlike Anita Hill’s. I lost my job after refusing the demands of a man who was not only well-regarded in the industry, but the recipient of numerous manager-of-the-year awards. I didn’t share my...

A Festival of Photos

Coimbra, always colorful, is especially vibrant during June and July. In addition to the annual feasts and fairs, just last week was the Festas de Rainha Santa Isabel, or Feast of Queen Saint Isabel, held every two years. It was truly extraordinary. But first, the...

Second Guessing

To be honest, I'd been waiting for and a little worried about the let down I'd been told was an inevitable part of moving abroad, the point at which the novelty wears off and reality sets in. When there was no let down, I wondered what was wrong with me. Where was...

Euphoria: A Dizzy Update

Although clearly recovering from my concussion, there'd been no sign of that delicious sense of well-being that usually washes through after an illness, producing energy. Energy wasn't just out of reach. It was invisible. Maybe I'd lost the oomph, the impetus, to...

Dizzy

It was a typical Sunday here in Coimbra. Bright and sunny, I'd walked from the local train station through Choupal Park, to Centro Hipico de Coimbra – the stables – for my turn with a friend's horse. I spent a lovely hour or so there, and walked back through the park...

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